Category Archives: Local News


Watch for Wildlife

Watch out for Wildlife Week

Caltrans and Fish and Wildlife Urge Motorists to Be Alert During
Watch Out for Wildlife Week

SACRAMENTO – Caltrans and the California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) remind motorists to remain alert for wildlife near roadways during Watch Out for Wildlife Week, which runs September 14-20.

Motorists need to be alert when traveling through wildlife areas,” said Caltrans Director Malcolm Dougherty. “This will protect the public and animals, while helping reduce tragedies.”

Defenders of Wildlife, a national nonprofit organization dedicated to protecting native species and their natural communities, reports more than 200 people are killed nationally in collisions with deer, elk and other large mammals each year and estimates 1.5 million animals are hit each year.

The Watch Out for Wildlife campaign is supported by Caltrans, CDFW, Defenders of Wildlife and the Road Ecology Center at the University of California, Davis.

Drivers may see more animals crossing roads and highways this year, as they need to travel farther than usual to find adequate food and water,” said Marc Kenyon, CDFW’s Human-Wildlife Conflict Manager. “This is just one of many reasons to give driving our complete attention when we’re on the road. Only drivers can prevent collisions with animals, by being careful and paying attention.”

Caltrans, CDFW and Defenders of Wildlife offer a few tips for motorists:

Be especially alert when driving in areas frequented by wildlife, and reduce your speed so you can react safely.

Pay particular attention when driving during the morning and evening, as wildlife are most active during these times.

If you see an animal cross the road, know that another may be following.

Don’t litter. The odors may entice animals to venture near roadways.

Cover Photo by the Mono County Sheriffs Office.  Black Bear near roadway in Crowley Lake

watch out for wildlife, california department of fish and wildlife, caltrans, animal crossings
inyo forest

Inyo Expands Fire Restrictions

Inyo National Forest Announces Further Fire Restriction

The Inyo National Forest is extending fire restrictions to include all Wilderness Areas of the Inyo National Forest.  Previously, campfires were allowed in the  Hoover, John Muir, Ansel Adams, Boundary Peak, White Mountains, Golden Trout, and South Sierra Wilderness Areas of the Inyo National Forest. These areas are no longer exempt from fire restrictions.

“Ongoing drought conditions and well below average rain and snowfall this past winter have led to very dry conditions for this time of year,” said Inyo National Forest Supervisor, Ed Armenta. “These conditions can and have created an active fire season here in the Eastern Sierra and throughout California.”

Beginning September 11, 2015 and until further notice, the following restrictions will be in effect:

NO CAMPFIRES, briquette barbeques, or stove fires are allowed outside of designated developed recreation sites and specifically posted campsites or areas. A list of designated campgrounds and recreation sites is available at local Ranger Stations and Visitor Centers, and on the Inyo National Forest website,

Persons with a valid California Campfire Permit (available free of charge at any Ranger Station or Visitor Center) are not exempt from the prohibitions but are allowed to use portable stoves or lanterns using gas, jellied petroleum, or pressurized liquid fuel.

NO FIREWORKS. It is prohibited to possess or discharge any fireworks.

NO SMOKING, except within an enclosed vehicle or building, a developed recreation site, or while stopped in an area at least three feet in diameter that is barren or cleared of all flammable material.

NO WELDING or operating an acetylene torch with open flames, except by permit.

NO USE OF EXPLOSIVES, except by permit.

Resorts, pack stations, recreation residences and other sites operated under special use permit from the U.S. Forest Service  may be exempt from the special orders, as long as any fire activity is conducted in compliance with their permit. Special use permit holders should contact their permit administrator to make sure they are on the list of exempt sites, or check the information for special use permit exemptions on the Inyo National Forest Website,

us forest service, inyo national forest, drought 2015, campfire restrictions

Tri-County Fair Winners

Eastern Sierra Tri-County Fair Results

This years fair had a theme of “Where Heritage and Culture Come Together”.   Among the featured contests were the Carne Asada cooking contest, Salas on the spot,  the Viva Margarita competition, and Pecan Pie baking contest.  Congratulations to all the winners.

Tri-County Fair Winners

Carne Asada Contest

1. Todd Lembke (aka The Mayor of Wilkerson)

2. Bruce Walder

3. Adrienne Martinez

Salas on the spot Contest

Junior Division

1. Ashley Switzer

Viva Margarita Contest

1. Sheryl Holmes

2. Lisa Yeager

3. Adrienne Martinez

Pecan Pie Contest


1. Alison Young

2. Joni Ferrell

Junior Division

1. Jesi Ferrell

2. Kennedy Bigham

Cover Photo, Todd Lembke, The Mayor of Wilkerson winning top honors in the Carne Asada contest.

tri-county fair, todd lembke, the mayor of wilkerson, eastern sierra tri-county fair

Public Lands Day

Volunteer on Public Lands Day

BLM Bishop Field Office Invites the Public to Celebrate National Public Lands Day

Bishop, Calif. – The Bureau of Land Management Bishop Field Office will host three National Public Lands Day events this year. They are:

* Alabama Hills Trail Construction, Saturday, Sept. 26:  The Alabama Hills Stewardship Group and Bishop Field Office invite you to join in a morning of trail construction in the Alabama Hills. Participants should meet at 8 a.m. at the junction of Movie Road and Whitney Portal Road for a volunteer orientation and to car pool to the project site off Whitney Portal Road. Volunteers are invited to enjoy a barbecue at the Lone Pine City Park after the project work. For further information, contact Becky Hutto, BLM park ranger, at (760) 872-5008 or Doug Thompson, Alabama Hills Stewardship Group, at (760) 937­2257.

*Tungsten Hills Trail Maintenance, Saturday, Sept. 26:  Sierra Responsible Riders and the Bishop Field Office invite you to join in a morning of single-track trail maintenance in the Tungsten Hills. Participants should meet at the Tungsten City Road and Ed Powers Road at 9 a.m.  BLM will provide water and snacks. Participants should bring gloves, hat and sunscreen. For further information, contact Richard Williams, BLM recreation planner, at (760) 872-5033.

*Bitterbrush Planting in Indian Fire burned area, Saturday, Oct. 3:  For the third year in a row, the Bishop Field Office invites volunteers to join in a morning of bitterbrush planting located off Highway 120 in the Indian Fire area. This project will help to restore native plants to the area that was burned in 2012, thereby improving habitat for birds and other wildlife.  Participants should meet at 9:30 a.m. at the junction of highways 395 120. Participants should bring their own water and food. For further information contact Martin Oliver, BLM botanist, at (760) 872-5035.

Volunteers for all events should wear sturdy shoes or boots, long pants, a hat and gloves. Sunscreen is also strongly recommended. Tools will be provided.

For more information, contact the Bishop Field Office at (760) 872-5000.

blm bishop field office, alabama hills, volunteer on public lands day

Inyo County Counsel Retiring

County Counsel Announces Retirement

Independence – Marge Kemp-Williams has announced that she will retire as the County Counsel for Inyo County on December 30, 2015.

After meeting with the Board of Supervisors on August 21, 2015, to confirm what the Supervisors want her to work on between then and December 30, Kemp-Williams advised the Personnel Director that she intended to retire at the end of the year to spend more time with her family.  Ms. Kemp reached retirement age in 2014.

Kemp-Williams joined Inyo County in 2013, after serving as the Senior Deputy County Counsel in Colusa County for a little over five years.  Her roots were in private practice where she represented businesses and public entities after graduating from the University of Wisconsin thirty-two years ago.

“The private-public mix Marge brings to the table has benefited the County well,” said Chairman of the Board of the Board of Supervisors Matt Kingsley. “Marge brings insights to business transactions and contract construction that enables her to work with the Board and County Administrator to re-evaluate prior approaches to realizing Board goals.”

“Her strict construction of the law provides a solid foundation for analyzing the issues facing the County, while her open mind allows creativity in responding to those issues,” added Kevin Carunchio, Inyo County Administrator.

The County Counsel is appointed by the Board of Supervisors. Carunchio said the County will commence the recruitment process to hire a new County Counsel this week. He said this would include giving the Board of Supervisors an opportunity to evaluate executive recruitment firms to assist in the process.

Kemp-Williams has agreed to work with the County until her successor is found, but expressed a strong hope that would occur by January 2016.  Between now and then, she will continue her dedication and commitment to reaching the legal goals she has set with the Board.

inyo county news, kevin carunchio, marge kemp williams, inyo county administrator

Yosemite Fire

Wildfire in Yosemite National Park

Tenaya Fire Currently at 500 Acres

A wildfire above Yosemite Valley began Monday afternoon, September 7, 2015. The “Tenaya Fire” is currently at approximately 500 acres and is burning above Yosemite Valley. The fire is located along both sides of the Lehamite Creek Trail from the north rim of the Valley to the Tioga Road. Smoke from this fire is visible throughout the park.

Full suppression efforts began Tuesday  which include approximately 60 firefighters, six air tankers, and three helicopters. Additional resources will arrive in the park Wednesday.

Trails on the north rim of Yosemite Valley south of the Tioga Road and east of Yosemite Creek are closed.

Currently there are no threats to structures and no injuries have been reported.

There is no containment at this time. The cause of the fire is still under investigation.


yosemite fire, tanaya fire, yosemite national park, smoke on tioga road

Fair CEO Asked to Step Down

Sally Symons Resigns

As the 2015 Tri-County fair was starting up, CEO Sally Simons was asked to step down.  The 2015 fair opened on Thursday, and the board of directors asked Symons to step down Friday.   Board President Paul Dostie confirmed that Symon’s final day as CEO was this past Sunday.

Reached for comment, Symons said that she was not given a specific reason for the boards decision, but confirmed the board asked her to step down.  Symons began her post as CEO in March of 2014.

The board consists of Dostie,first vice president Robert Levy, second vice president Joanne Parsons, and directors Jacque Hickman and Nina Weisman.

The next regular meeting of the Board of Directors to the Tri-County Fair (the 18th District Agricultural Association) will be Thursday, September 17th at the City of Bishop office meeting room at 10am for a financial analysis meeting.  The board will then continue their meeting at 1pm in the boardroom of the main office at the Tri-County Fairgrounds.

tri-county fair, Sally Symons, Paul Dostie, Robert Levy, Joanne Parsons
Dehaven Brian

4 arrested Friday

Local Compliance check executed Friday

A circling helicopter Friday in the Bishop and Big Pine area was part of a multi-agency effort.  Several local law enforcement agencies teamed up to conduct probation and parole compliance checks.

Inyo County Sheriff’s Department Statement:

On Friday, September 4, 2015 at approximately 7am a multi-agency operation was conducted in the Big Pine and Bishop area.  Approximately 34 locations were checked for compliance to ensure that the person or persons who are living there are adhering to the terms and conditions of probation or parole.

Four arrests were made during the operation:
Brian Dehaven 34-years old: Violation of Probation (3-day incarceration)

Dehaven Brian
Brian Dehaven

Rachel Chandler 39-years old: Violation of Probation ($50,000 bail)

Chandler Rachel
Rachel Chandler

Felis Landa 27-years old: Outstanding Warrant, Violation of Probation, Possession of Controlled Substance, Assault with a Deadly Weapon, Brandishing a Weapon, and Vandalism ($50,000 out of Inyo County, and no-bail out of Mono County)

Landa, Felis
Felis Landa

Justin Wilcott 53-years old: Outstanding Warrant ($5,000 bail)
*All arrest were made without incident

Wilcott, Justin
Justin Wilcott

This operation is an ongoing effort to ensure the safety of the citizens and to maintain compliance with those individuals who have been placed on supervision after the conviction of a crime.  “We want to ensure that the persons placed on supervision continue to meet the obligations they agreed to, and at the same time ensure the public’s safety,” stated Inyo County Sheriff Bill Lutze.

The following agencies participated in today’s operation: Bishop Police Department, Mono County Sheriff, Inyo County Sheriff, Inyo County Probation, California Highway Patrol H80, and Olancha Fire Department’s Tactical Medic Team.

inyo county sheriffs department, inyo county sheriff bill lutze, bishop police department, helicopter over bishop

NIH at the Tri-County Fair

NIH Patient Portal sign-ups available at 2015 Tri-County Fair

Bishop’s Northern Inyo Hospital will be at the Tri-County Fair.  You can sign up for NIH’s new Patient Portal and find out more about reduced cost services and new health care providers.

NIH press release:

If you are looking for a convenient way to access your personal health record, Northern Inyo Hospital has the answer.
Volunteers from the hospital’s staff will help people sign up for the hospital’s new online Patient Portal program during the Tri-County Fair, Sept. 3-6. The volunteers will be located on the south side of The Charles Brown Auditorium.

Anyone who has spent the night in the hospital or who is a patient of The Rural Health Clinic, or the orthopedic, women’s and pediatric clinics may sign up for the Patient Portal. Once signed up, patients have an easy and convenient way to view test results, and clinic patients can request appointments and communicate with their health care team via secured messages.

The portal’s biggest benefit is that it gives participants the ability to view portions of their records online for free. They may also print copies of their records at home at no charge. This reduces the need for most trips to the hospital’s Medical Records department where people are charged for personal copies of their records.“Plus this gives them access to their records after hours, and on weekends and holidays,” explains Cyndee Kiddoo, Health Information Management Services (HIMS) manager.

Hospital Administrator Victoria Alexander-Lane said the Patient Portal technology is the wave of the future. “The portal technology allows our patients to take steps to manage their own care,” Alexander-Lane said. “Going forward we’re going to see more and more mobile health tools that emphasize wellness and really insert health care into people’s lives.”

To sign-up, participants must have an active email address.
The sign-up process will be kept short during the Fair. Hospital volunteers will ask participants to fill out a brief sheet of information. Within a week, participants will receive an email with a personal invitation to the Patient Portal’s secure sign-up area.

Anyone having trouble signing in may contact Cyndee Kiddoo for assistance at (760) 872-2152, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday, or after hours by email at

In addition to the Patient Portal information, the NIH fair booth will have information on the hospital’s reduced cost services and new healthcare providers including Drs. Marty Kim, Louisa Salisbury and Allison Robinson.

bishop’s northern inyo hospital, nih patient portal, bishop rural health clinic, northern inyo hospital
mono sheriff

Jury Duty Phone Scam

Mono Sheriff warns of Phone Scam

by: Jennifer M. Hansen, Public Information Officer

The Mono County Sheriff’s Office has received numerous reports from residents throughout Mono County, specifically the Crowley Lake area, of a recent phone scam. We want to make everyone aware of the current phone scam you may experience.

The current phone scam includes a male caller stating he is Lieutenant Foster (or another name may be given) of the Mono County Sheriff’s Office. He states that you failed to appear at jury duty and there is a $5,000 fine that you must pay. If the fine is not paid over the phone, someone from the Mono County Sheriff’s Office will come to your residence within 20 minutes and place you under arrest. The caller also will provide you with a fake Assistant District Attorney’s name and clarify that there has been an arrest warrant issued for you if the fine isn’t paid immediately.

This is a phone scam to try and access your personal financial information. Phone scammers are getting aggressive in their means to try and gain access to personal financial information.

The Mono County Sheriff’s Office wants you to be aware of this phone scam as it has created some panic amongst Mono County residents. Remember to never give personal information and credit card information over the phone. You should monitor your credit reports and your credit card and bank statements on a regular basis! Keep your identity and information protected!

If you would like to report any suspicious phone scams or verify that you have been a victim of a phone scam, please contact us at (760) 932-7549.

mono county sheriffs department, mono county phone scam, jury duty phone scam